With growth comes hiring, with new hires comes lots and lots of interviews. How do you stand out from the crowd? How do you leave a good impression from just one interview?
As a small business, what impresses us when we interview an individual for an open position are the characteristics and tactics below. If you really want to work for the company you are interviewing at, then you need to work for it.
- Dress. Have you ever heard the saying “Dress for the job you want”? When a candidate walks in for the first time, the very first thing they are being judged on is what they are wearing and how they present themselves. We are a laid-back company, we don’t wear suits and we love to express ourselves through our style. That being said, overdressing will only help you and sets the bar for how you view your career and the effort put in to impress us. We would prefer to see a candidate with professional attire, as it sends the message they are taking the interview seriously.
- Homework. Do your homework on the company. Read their website, become familiar with the team and, if possible, research past projects. We are always impressed when a candidate references a blog or social media post or brings up something in a team member’s bio. When asked if you have any questions in the interview, ask about the firm, culture, past clients or the owner’s background. It is impressive when a candidate asks an intelligent question. Keep in mind, people love talking about themselves. Use this as an advantage.
- Humor. Interviewing is nerve-wracking, anxiety ridden and uncomfortable. That being said, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. Share something personal about yourself (not too personal – no one wants to hear about an ex), like a hobby or community event you just attended. Employers want to see how your temperament will gel with other team members, and if you are standoffish due to nerves, that can hurt your chances. Preparedness and proper research only helps let your personality shine through.
- Handwritten notes. Every time you are interviewed, send a handwritten note to each individual in the interview. It should be personable, interesting and memorable. If you show gratitude for the opportunity to even interview for the position, it may put you ahead of another candidate.
Do you have other suggestions? Drop them in the comments below.